While we may still be in the midst of summer, many young people in our community will soon be thinking of returning to their studies in postsecondary education. It’s important that we support them.
We’re fortunate to have an excellent postsecondary institution right here in Ottawa West-Nepean – Algonquin College is training the bright minds and the skilled workforce of tomorrow needed to compete in a global economy.
Student participation in postsecondary education in Ontario has taken off in the past decade. Since 2003-04, enrolment is up by 25%. Since 2006, over 150,000 more higher education seats have been created in Ontario. At Algonquin College, the McGuinty government has invested $35 million to help build over 600 new student spaces at the new Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence.
In response to the financial challenges many students face, our government recently introduced the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant. University students can qualify for an annual $1,680 grant, and college students can qualify for an annual $770 grant. Over 300,000 students were eligible to receive the new grant this past winter, and over 1,300 Algonquin College students benefited.
But we now need to transform how we deliver postsecondary education in Ontario, to offer more choice and flexibility while improving the quality and affordability of education. This is why our government will begin consulting this summer on how to modernize the system to continue supporting learning.
Our government is launching a series of roundtable consultations with the postsecondary education sector, including one to be held at Algonquin College on August 14th. The consultations will engage student associations, parents, faculty and institutions. Members of the public are welcome to send written comment by email to PSEsubmissions@ontario.ca. You can learn more about the consultation process by visiting www.ontario.ca/postsecondary.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my constituency office with any questions of comments you may have at 613-721-8075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Chiarelli, MPP